Press Clipping
09/03/2015
Article
Big Gigs for Sept. 4-10: D'Angelo, Hozier, Prof, Haggard, Dave King and more

Hozier performs Thursday at Roy Wilkins Auditorium.
Fans who caught Hozier’s sold-out First Avenue gig back in February — when his megahit “Take Me to Church” was still in full rapture mode — are probably going to see a similar concert his second time around, the sharp differences in venues aside. And that’s probably just fine with most of them. The 25-year-old Irishman impressed with his booming, gospel-ized voice as he delivered a powerful cover of Skip James’ “Illinois Blues” and softer, lovely fare such as “Cherry Wine” around his radio tracks, also including “From Eden” and the more rollicking “Jackie and Wilson.” With only one album to his name, he has been playing much the same set list all year. (8 p.m. Thu., Roy Wilkins Auditorium, $45.) Chris Riemenschneider
POP/ROCK
Grandstand regular Garrison Keillor brings “A Prairie Home Companion” to the fair one more time before retiring next summer from his weekly radio program. At the grandstand, he’s wont to wax nostalgic about the fair and address new foods at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Musical guests include the Steep Canyon Rangers, the bluegrass band that backs Steve Martin (who will not be here); Minnesota musical luminaries Jearlyn and Jevetta Steele, and versatile New York vocalist Christine DiGiallonardo, a recent Keillor favorite. The show will likely last more than two hours and be edited for broadcast on Saturday. (7:45 p.m. Fri., State Fair grandstand, $25-$32.) Jon Bream

Now in the midst of his seventh divorce, Steve Earle is literally singing the blues on this year’s “Terraplane” album. While the loose, organic recording feels more like a live set than Earle’s usually carefully crafted albums, that vibe enhances the potency of his pointed words. Add blues to the list — including country, rock and Americana — that Earle writes and plays with authority. Opening are the Mastersons, the husband-wife duo who also play behind Earle. (8 p.m. Sat. Pantages, $48.50-$58.50.) Bream

After the top choices for the annual MN Music on a Stick fell through, State Fair bookers turned to the Avett Brothers, the punky bluegrass/folk/indie rock band from North Carolina. Fronted by brothers Seth and Scott Avett, this high-energy group is buoyed by the cello of Joe Kwon and the upright bass of Bob Crawford. A favorite on the festival circuit, the Avetts have impressed Twin Cities audiences at the Basilica Block Party, Minnesota Zoo and the Somerset (Wis.) Amphitheater. Opening is another terrific live group of a different flavor: the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, keepers of traditional New Orleans jazz for 50-some years. (7:30 p.m. Sat., State Fair grandstand, $35-$45.) Bream

After interminable delays and many false alarms, revered but reclusive soul man D’Angelo finally dropped his long overdue follow-up to 2000’s “Voodoo” without notice in December 2014. “Black Messiah” is a surreal, adventurous, organic mix of George Clinton, Sly Stone, Prince and Bad Brains — with politics mixed in. With its impact being felt this year, “Black Messiah” is likely to make many of the best-of lists at the end of 2015. Now D’Angelo has returned to the road on his Second Coming Tour with a 10-piece band that includes ex-Time guitarist Jesse Johnson, the Who’s bassist Pino Palladino and P-Funk singer Kendra Foster. Opening is LP Music, the Eric Leeds/Paul Peterson project that has gotten funkier with the addition of organist Ricky Peterson. (9 p.m. Sun. First Avenue, sold out.) Bream

If anything, bassist Victor Wooten can be too proficient on his instrument, as his abundant technique occasionally overwhelms listeners. He broke through via his long tenure with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and then branched out into solo recordings, teaching (via camps and videos more than standard academia) and group projects. A phenomenal instrumentalist who has also become virtuosic on other stringed instruments, Wooten was been voted “bassist of the year” three times by Bass Player Magazine — no one else has even won it twice. (7 & 9 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $30-$40.) Britt Robson

Fidlar captures itself well in its song titles. At the recent Best Kept Secret festival, the set list included “Stoked and Broke,” “Max Can’t Surf,” “40 oz. on Repeat,” and “The Punks Are Finally Taking Acid.” The latter two are on the L.A. quartet’s just-released second disc, “Too,” which furthers their skate-punk primer with a grungy coat of garage-blues. Blink-182 and the Black Keys are both raucous reference points for their irreverence, which of course is well-crafted on the sly. (8 p.m. Mon., Varsity, $15-$17.) Robson
Brandon Flowers has often complained that his band the Killers don’t get the respect they deserve. So he’s out to gain credibility on his own, touring behind his second solo effort, this spring’s “The Desired Effect.” As he’s done with the Killers, Flowers shows his influences — shades of ELO, Bruce Springsteen, 1980s synth-pop and even Madonna — but expands his usual palette with the help of guests Bruce Hornsby and Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys. (8 p.m. Thu., First Avenue, $30.) Bream

Since he pioneered his own glorious brand of alternate-tuning guitar noodling and arty noise-punk for 30 years with Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore can be forgiven for not trying too hard to reinvent himself in the half-decade since his old band called it quits. He experimented a bit with the short-lived group Chelsea Morning Light but is back to more familiar territory with the Thurston Moore Band, which is something of an all-star unit with My Bloody Valentine’s Debbie Googe on bass and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley on drums. On tour they’ve been playing a lot of tracks from last year’s slow-burning album “The Best Day” and an occasional SY deep cut. (9 p.m. Thu., Triple Rock, $18-$20.) Riemenschneider

HIP-HOP
For the third straight year, Minneapolis’ outrageous, tenacious and salacious Prof is staging a Labor Day weekend outdoor bash that reminds us that he’s also one of our most popular rappers. His appeal beyond his hometown will be tested by the Oct. 16 release of his first Rhymesayers-issued record, “Liability.” The new, NSFW video for the Aesop Rock-produced single “Bar Breaker” should be a great start — it’s madcap genius. In the meantime, he and his DJ Last Word will have some fun with New Orleans-bred early-’00s hitmaker Mystikal of “Shake Ya Ass” fame, plus Florida newcomer Denzel Curry and north Minneapolis’ Mac Irv. (4:20 p.m. Sat., Cabooze Plaza, all ages, $25.) Riemenschneider
COUNTRY
This is one of the best country bills the State Fair has ever assembled. One of the all-time greats, Merle Haggard, 78, is an authoritative singer, a powerful personality and a masterful songwriter known as the poet of the common man. Kris Kristofferson, 79, has long been regarded as one of country’s most literate songwriters; he’s a serviceable singer but a strong presence especially when he plays off his pal Haggard. Sturgill Simpson, 37, celebrates traditional country in a fresh way, as evidenced on his exceptional 2014 album “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music.” (7:30 p.m. Mon., State Fair grandstand, $35.) Bream
BLUEGRASS
He calls it dawg music. Whatever it is that mandolin ace David Grisman plays, it’s darn good music. And it doesn’t matter whether he’s working with Jerry Garcia, John Sebastian, Hazel Dickens, Tony Rice, Peter Rowan or whoever, Grisman always delivers rewarding sounds, usually a mix of bluegrass, jazz and folk. His current ensemble is billed as the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience. This concert has been moved from the Dakota Jazz Club. (8 p.m. Sun., Fitzgerald Theater, $40-$50.) Bream

As popular with hard-core old-timey music fans as it is the throngs of young kids who dance down front without knowing a banjo from a bongo, the 17th annual Laughing Waters Bluegrass Festival is bringing in an unusually hip headliner this year: fun-loving Chicago alt-twang singer/songwriter Robbie Fulks, who’s a regular in town at Lee’s and on “A Prairie Home Companion.” As always, the festival will feature a set by host band the Platte Valley Boys, with ’60s garage-rocker Tony Andreason of the Trashmen on guitar, as well as their fellow boy band the Middle Spunk Creek Boys. The Sawtooth Brothers and Pride of the Prairie also perform. Food and beer trucks are part of the mix. (1-6:30 p.m. Mon., Minnehaha Falls Park, Mpls., free.) Riemenschneider

WORLD
A dub music pioneer, a mentor to Bob Marley, a ganja-infused madman who once purposefully torched his Black Ark studios to the ground, Lee “Scratch” Perry has lived louder than myth. Now a few months shy of 80, the diminutive (4 feet 11) genius will re-create — as much as that is possible — his landmark “Super Ape” album on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. The Subatomic Sound System, who accompanied Perry on his sold-out Cedar show in 2012, will again provide sonic support. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Cedar Cultural Center, $22-$25.) Robson
In recent years, the world’s best blues music has come out of the Sahara Desert, via the fuzz-and-grit guitar grooves of bands like Tinariwen and its potent offshoot, Terakaft. On its fifth and best album, “Alone,” released in May, the latter group backs its distinctive braid of guitars with anguished and angry riffs and vocals describing the carnage in their native Mali, victimized by drought, a political coup and rampant barbarism. Diara (a founding member of Tinariwen) and his nephew Sanou twine spellbinding blues-rock in the Tuareg tradition as their determination and despair infuse the grooves with a genuine passion that is irresistible. (7 p.m. Tue., Cedar Cultural Center, $28-$30.) Robson

JAZZ
You wouldn’t immediately imagine that the wry and witty songs of Dave Frishberg would be such comfortable vehicles for the debonair vocals of Connie Evingson. But a couple listens to Evingson’s tour of Frishberg’s songbook on the 2008 release “Little Did I Dream” (with the composer himself at the piano) leave no doubt. Evingson’s latest visitation of the cool couplets in “My Attorney Bernie,” the winsome job description of “I Want to Be a Sideman,” and the smoldering demands of “Peel Me a Grape” will be with saxophonist and former Frishberg classmate Dave Karr, and the top-notch rhythm section of pianist Jon Weber and bassist Gordy Johnson. (4 & 7:30 p.m. Sun., Jungle Theater, $25.) Robson

The Dave King Trucking Company is my favorite of King’s many non-Bad Plus projects, thanks to its horn-heavy Midwestern stolidity and frequent careens into rugged, gnarly fragments — or as King puts it, Americana meets avant garde. The last album featured tributes to hockey groupies and Charles Bronson and has a subtle but subversive sociocultural agenda, but is viscerally most pleasurable for the way King drives the band like an eighteen-wheeler from his drum kit. Chris Morrissey replaces Adam Linz on bass, but the big news is the rare presence of New York saxophonist Chris Speed alongside fellow tenor Brandon Wozniak and guitarist Erik Fratzke, putting the quintet at full strength. (8 p.m. Mon., Icehouse, $15) Robson

When is it appropriate to call an album “The Epic”? The extraordinary answer from Kamasi Washington is when you’ve gigged with everyone from Flying Lotus to McCoy Tyner to Kendrick Lamar to Chaka Khan and then unfurl a 172-minute extravaganza that adorns its Coltrane-infused jazz roots with gospel, classical and hip-hop via the help of an orchestra, choir and ringers like bassist Thundercat. This stop on Washington’s international tour is a must-see. Past shows have featured a relatively lean septet, including two drummers and a vocalist, but reviews confirm “The Epic” is epic in concert. (10 p.m. Thu., Icehouse, $22-$25.) Robson